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Black Friday sales have already begun and I’m sure your inbox is full of promotions. As a business owner, you know it’s a good idea to offer something, but maybe slashing the prices on all your products and services just doesn’t feel that great.

Will it work? Probably. But it will also drastically cut into your profits.

Thankfully, there are other promotions you can do that will be a big win for both you and your customers:

Loss leader with a timeline

This is the promotion we’ve come to expect on Black Friday. A massive deal will get people to shop and hopefully spend more on other items in your store.

Choose one or two items that you can heavily discount to get people in the door. Ideally it’s something you have a lot of that didn’t cost a lot of money. OR, maybe it’s a little pricier, but you know that it’s worth the amount of people it will draw and the resulting sales.

Give it a cutoff time so there’s a sense of urgency to get it before it’s gone. And make sure you have plenty of good stuff to offer that’s not on sale.

Limited time gifts with purchase

Another popular option is to give a gift with purchase for a limited time. This can be anything, really, but my favorite is something of high value that you didn’t have to purchase, like a gift card or discount for future use (with an expiration date).

The great thing about this is that it means repeat business. And you can tier this promotion so you can reward customers who spend more.

  • Spend $25, get a $5 gift card
  • Spend $50, get a $10 gift card
  • Spend $100, get a $20 gift card

Gift card sales

A spa I like runs this special every year for a few days and I think it’s a brilliant. They tier it a bit like the promo above. For example, you get a $150 gift card for $100.

The wonderful thing is, you can run this promotion no matter what kind of business you have. Retail store, tattoo shop, nail salon, restaurant, gym. If you have gift cards or e-gift certificates, you can do this.

If you have a website and a payment processor like Square, you don’t even have to be open in person to offer the deal – it can be done completely online.

Free shipping

If you sell online, this is a great promotion to offer. You can make it free for all orders or if you normally do free for a certain amount, just lower the qualifying amount.

This is a great option if you’re not shipping anything super heavy OR if your more expensive stuff is heaviest so it doesn’t matter too much if you have to pay a little more out of pocket for shipping since you’ll have more sales.

Longer sale

This is more my M.O. I like offering a 25-30% discount on The Balm from Thanksgiving or Black Friday until Cyber Monday because I know people will be busy or forget.

It’s not a huge price slash but it’s still more than I would normally do with a sale. And there’s much less urgency. There’s no reason a sale has to be frantic.

Free digital gift with purchase

I love creating digital products because you put time and effort into something once and you can sell it forever. OR, as I love to do, you can have it as a bonus offer for special promotions.

For instance, if you get one of my Tiny Sites, you’ll also be given bonus access to my Modern Marketing class, which is a $75 value. It costs me nothing to offer that promo, but I love that I can give new clients some really valuable help with marketing. Everyone wins.

If you have a recorded class or tutorial that’s pertinent to your business, consider offering that for free with a purchase. If you don’t, think about making one for next year – it just adds another revenue stream to your business.

The caveat

Of course, none of this really matters if you aren’t marketing your upcoming sales, so send out those emails and get posting on social!

Good luck!